Truckload carrier Celadon Group Inc., reported its profit in the first quarter of the year more than doubled from the same time a year ago.

Net income increased $5.1 million, or 146.7%, to $8.6 million, from $3.5 million for the first quarter of 2014 while earnings per diluted share increased to 36 cents from 15 cents.

Revenue for the quarter increased $38.5 million, or 19.9%, to $231.7 million, from $193.2 million in the March 2014 quarter. Freight revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, increased $46.1 million, or 29.6%, to $201.7 million, from $155.6 million.

"Freight demand improved during the quarter and was not as negatively impacted from severe weather conditions in the March 2015 quarter as what was experienced in the same period last year,” said Paul Will, president and CEO. “Operations, maintenance and fuel expenses all decreased as a percentage of revenue in the March 2015 quarter as compared with the March 2014 quarter, which was a result of a newer fleet with more fuel efficient equipment.”

According to Will the average age of the company's tractor fleet was 1.6 years as of March, a reduction from 2.2 years in March 2014. Celadon currently has on order 500 trucks to complete the tractor equipment refresh, which is expected to result in continued improved fuel economy and lower overall maintenance costs, according to the company.

"Our operating statistics continued to improve during the March 2015 quarter, which we believe is continuing to position the company for future growth,” said Will. “We increased our average seated tractor count by 731, or 21.2%, to 4,171 in the March 2015 quarter compared to 3,440 in the March 2014 quarter, a significant operating metric improvement that resulted in increased revenue for the quarter.”